Navigating end-of-life decisions can feel overwhelming. When considering your options, it's important to understand the differences between direct cremations, memorials, and traditional funerals.

According to the Australian Seniors Cost of Death Report, 68.0% of funerals are now cremations, while 31.9% are burials.  Funeral directors have noticed that factors such as simplicity and cost influence some people's decision to choose cremation. Many people are also realising that cremation does not preclude them from having a memorial or traditional funeral and both can be seamlessly incorporated into the cremation process to honour a loved one.

This article aims to provide clarity on these three choices, giving you the information you need to decide which option is best suited for your own needs or the needs of a loved one.

Alternatively, feel free to give our expert team a call on 1800 071 176 to discuss what might be best for you and your loved one.

Direct Cremation.

A direct cremation is a procedure in which the body of the deceased is quickly and immediately cremated without any additional ceremonies like a viewing, visitation, or formal funeral service. This approach is simplified and works well for families who prefer a straightforward process as it focuses solely on the cremation itself. 

According to the Funeral Beliefs and Values Study conducted in 2021, 2 in 3 people who have arranged a funeral for a loved one, chose a cremation. Direct cremation is considered as the most cost-effective option due to the elimination of various expenses. For instance, there is no requirement for embalming, buying pricey caskets, or spending money on additional services and rituals. Many families choose direct cremation because of its financial benefits, especially when finances are tight or there are no significant cultural or religious funeral obligations.

One more advantage that is vital in choosing direct cremation is the flexibility that it offers. Without a set schedule, families can take their time in deciding how they want to honour their loved one. They have the option to keep the ashes in an urn, scatter them in a meaningful location, or even hold a memorial service at a later date. This choice can be customised to meet the specific wishes of the deceased and their family members. This flexibility not only allows for personalisation but also reduces the immediate stress often associated with making arrangements after a death.

It is also important to mention that choosing this option does not mean you cannot have a funeral service or ceremony where the coffin is present before the cremation takes place. It's also possible to arrange a funeral prior to a direct cremation if that aligns with the wishes of the family. Both options provide meaningful ways to remember and honour a loved one, and the choice ultimately depends on the individual and family.


A memorial service is a commemorative event that does not include the physical presence of the deceased's body. In other words, it is a ceremony where the coffin is not present. The main focus of these services is to celebrate and remember the life of the departed, with an emphasis on their memories and legacy.

In terms of timing, memorials naturally allow for flexibility. They can be held days, weeks, months, or even years after the person has passed away instead of having to be planned immediately after the death. This gives families the freedom to select a time that works best for them, taking into account their various needs and preferences. Another benefit of memorials is their adaptability. They give you the chance to create a ceremony that perfectly reflects the personality of the deceased. Each component, whether it be music, readings, stories, or rituals, can be thoughtfully chosen to reflect the person being honoured.

A defining characteristic of a memorial is that it is conducted without the presence of the coffin or the deceased. This provides more flexibility in choosing the location. Memorials can be held in traditional settings such as churches or community halls. However, their nature also allows for more intimate or unconventional places like parks, beaches, or private homes. The chosen location can be a place that held significance for the deceased or brings comfort to the grieving. It could be a peaceful garden, a beloved beach spot, or a community center where they spent time. This adaptability in location allows each memorial to be a deeply personal tribute, created to best reflect and honour the individual being remembered at your own preferred time.

The coffin plays a significant role in traditional funeral ceremonies.


A funeral is a remembrance and celebration event held to commemorate the life of an individual who has passed away. It serves as an opportunity for relatives and friends to gather and reminisce. Funerals can differ greatly depending on cultural, religious, and individual choices, but they typically offer a sense of closure and provide comfort to grieving loved ones.

The traditional funeral is a common type of funeral that falls within a broad spectrum. During a traditional funeral, the deceased person's body is typically placed in a coffin and is present during the ceremony. The event usually starts with a viewing or visitation, where family and friends have the opportunity to bid their personal farewells. This is then followed by a formal service, which can take place in various locations such as a church, funeral home, or another designated venue. Most traditional funerals conclude with either a burial or cremation.

The coffin is an important part of traditional funerals, these funerals typically take place soon after a person passes away. This is due to cultural traditions as well as practical requirements for having the body present. While these events frequently adhere to established religious or cultural customs, they can still be personalised. The structure allows for flexibility, allowing families to include elements that are personally meaningful to them. Families can personalise various aspects of the service, such as incorporating favorite songs and readings or sharing cherished memories. This adaptability ensures that the funeral not only adheres to traditional practices, but also accurately reflects and honours the individual's life, values, and memories.

What is best for me?

Choosing the appropriate end-of-life ceremony is a deeply personal decision that is influenced by various factors. Personal beliefs and values play a significant role, which can range from religious rituals to unique family traditions. Budget is also an important consideration, as it helps in finding a ceremony that is both meaningful and affordable. When planning, it is important to consider the preferences of attendees and the distances they may have to travel, as well as the emotional impact of the ceremony. Some individuals prefer traditional rituals, while others prefer a more personalised approach. The choice of venue, whether it be a funeral home, family residence, or an outdoor location, can also affect the overall atmosphere of the event. Reflecting on these aspects can help guide you towards the most suitable choice for your needs and wishes.

If you’re unsure about what’s right for you and your family, our team are only ever a phone call away. To learn more about our direct cremation, memorial and funeral service call us on 1800 071 176.

Final thoughts on direct cremations, memorials and funerals.

Direct cremations, memorials, and funerals all cater to a variety of preferences and requirements. Without a prior ceremony, direct cremations offer a straightforward and easy process. Memorials, on the other hand, provide a space for remembrance that can take place long after the death, allowing for flexibility in planning and personal touches. Traditional funerals, with their sequence of events, provide structure and familiarity. Each option has its own benefits, with the goal of providing comfort, remembrance, and a way to honour a life according to the family or the loved one’s wishes.

At Bare, we believe that there isn't just one way to say goodbye to a loved one. To accommodate these various preferences, we have tailored our offerings. A Bare Cremation focuses on direct cremation, offering a streamlined process that is not only the most affordable option, but also maintains a sense of dignity and respect. 

We also offer the option to arrange a Bare Funeral in addition to a Bare Cremation. A Bare Funeral provides the option of a traditional-style farewell, where the coffin is present, or the flexibility of a memorial service, which can be scheduled whenever the family feels ready and does not require the presence of the coffin. Most importantly, whether the service is held before or after cremation, a Bare Funeral can be personalised to truly reflect the unique individual being remembered. 

Whether you are looking to organise a direct cremation, a memorial or funeral service, we would be honoured to support you. To find out more, visit our Bare website here, or call 1800 071 176.